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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2007, 15:50 GMT
Horseplay and science for Duchess
Camilla, Duchess of Rothesay, in Aberdeen
The Duchess had been due to visit earlier in the month
Camilla, Duchess of Rothesay, has carried out her first Royal engagements of the year while in Aberdeen.

She formally opened Aberdeen University's 5.7m Health Sciences Building.

The Duchess had been due to visit the building earlier this month, but was forced to postpone after being struck down with a gastric bug.

The Duchess also presented rosettes to children and horses during a visit to the Hayfield Riding Centre.

Based at the city's medical school, the university health facility conducts research into key diseases including osteoporosis and dementia.

I am jealous because I would like a horse here today
Camilla, Duchess of Rothesay

The Duchess, who is staying at nearby Birkhall with Prince Charles, met university staff and dignitaries.

She apologised for not being able to make the original date.

She said: "I am glad I could make it this time."

In the second engagement in the city, the Duchess was at Hayfield Riding Centre.

She told children: "I am jealous because I would like a horse here today. We have got one up the road."

'Very kind'

The Duchess gave the children some riding advice, telling schoolboy Robert Smith that he must fit the saddle properly otherwise it would come off and go "zooming underneath".

The keen horse rider fed a mint to one of the animals, joking: "They always go down well."

Speaking afterwards, schoolboy Jordan Kerr, 12, said he had been nervous meeting the Duchess but she put him at ease.

"She was very kind," he said.

A bout of gastro-enteritis had previously forced her to cancel her plans to tour a Christmas pudding factory in December.

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